*This individual wishes to remain anonymous, so we will address him as 'Ali'
"Seven years ago, my family and I left Afghanistan due to lack of security. I was 10 years old, one of the millions of victims of the wrong time and wrong place. I was born in a small village in Orzugan, Trinkut, one of the most insecure places in Afghanistan. I deeply felt and understood how ugly war is when it turned off the light of happiness in a house. I heard many mothers howling from the sorrow of missing their dear ones. Therefore we left Afghanistan and came to Indonesia to seek a safe life.
"In late 2014 we had arrived in Indonesia. The first year there was really exciting for me. I saw people speaking a different language. They had a different culture and lifestyle. Therefore I was so curious to know the language, culture and so on. I found a lot of new friends and began to live my unlived childhood.
"However, it didn’t take me long to understand that, on the other side of this happy life, there is the bitter truth of an uncertain future and the lack of access to school. Things got tough, and soon I realized that I had nothing to do but wait in my room till afternoon, when I could play with my friends till night. The next day, it was the same day with the same activities, and I realized my life had become limited to these monotonous activities. I couldn’t do anything but just repeat the same days. Therefore I was suffering a lot from these problems. I felt that I was inside of a dark tunnel with no light.
"However, I was very lucky, because the next year, immigration brought a new family to our camp [the father of which is referred to as 'Mohammed']. Mohammed, with his wife, was the new family. Mohammed was aware of the life of teenagers such as me, and he was a compassionate person. Soon after he came to our camp, he started to teach us computers, math, English, and Persian, and he brought a light to the dark tunnel in me and many other teenagers. He took our hands, picked up us from the ground, and gave us the opportunity to grow. His efforts changed our world. Whatever I have learned today is because of him. He taught me the important lesson to give someone an opportunity when you can, as it may change their lives. Since then, I have been teaching children what I have learned.
"I am so grateful to those people who take someone’s hand whenever they can: people who put their time and effort into people like me who have become lost in a dark tunnel, bringing a light to that tunnel, and those who help refugee kids access education. I strongly believe that this small opportunity can and will change their lives."